Some ten car bombing attacks killed at least 38 Iraqi police and National Guardsmen and three US troops on Friday, police said. The attacks, in which scores of other people were injured, took place mainly in the Athamiya district of Baghdad.
According to Reuters, one of the car bombs in the capital hit a restaurant crowded with police and National Guardsmen eating breakfast, police reported.
A U.S. soldier was killed and two others were wounded Friday in a car bombing about 20 miles north of the capital, the U.S. military said. A car bomb attack near Diyarah also killed two U.S. soldiers, the military said.
Elsewhere, an American soldier was killed Thursday by a bomb blast in northern Iraq, a U.S. military statement said Friday.
On Thursday, an Iraqi group claimed to have shot dead six Sudanese truck drivers whom it seized, according to an Internet posting. A video of the shooting surfaced on a Web site purportedly by the group Ansar al-Sunnah Army.
Meanwhile, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda chief in Iraq, speaking on an audiotape posted Friday on a Web site known for carrying messages from Islamist groups, directly addressed President Bush. "You, Bush, we will not rest until we avenge our dignity," the voice said. "We will not rest while your army is here as long as there is a pulse in our veins."
The 18-minute audiotape called on al-Zarqawi's followers to intensify their attacks on US forces, vowing to "make swords drip with their blood."
The speaker also warned supporters against any American overtures for dialogue. "Be aware, these are the devil's tricks," he warned. "They (the Americans) have offered this dialogue after the defeats they have suffered."